13 May 202017:01

Anti-Russia allegations by The New York Times and the Financial Times on countering the new coronavirus infection

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We have noted a number of publications in the Western media, in part, The New York Times and the Financial Times, on the Russian Government’s alleged minimising of the number of deaths from the new coronavirus infection.

We will not dwell on the amazing synchrony and similarity of these articles. This conformity of ideas in independent English language publications has long ceased to be a surprise.

That said, it is stunning that they have completely ignored the basics of professional journalism: this “news tribe” working at influential publications did not even bother to give their Russian colleagues an opportunity to respond. Once again we see how easily this anti-Russia house of cards falls apart under the scrutiny of the basic facts.

In the context of these unfounded allegations, we would like to point out to these foreign journalists the May 12 comment by Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova. She bluntly refuted any assertion that official statistics might be subject to manipulation. All the facts, including the number of fatalities, are published regularly and are publicly available. The final figures for April will be published as usual at the end of the next accounting month (May). Meanwhile, the Government provides status updates. According to this information, the mortality rate from the coronavirus infection in Russia is several times lower than the average global figures.

Obviously, the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the COVID-19 disease it causes are a new challenge for all of humanity. Doctors and researchers all over the world have been meticulously studying this and working on dozens of vaccines for many months now. However, even the best specialists do not have the answers to many questions so far. Only the all-knowing journalists at The New York Times and the Financial Times can, apparently, declare verdicts at will. This is symptomatic.

We regret that these publications did not bother to learn the facts. Even against the backdrop of a grave situation at home, they did not write a word about the unprecedented work being done by Russia on increasing the functional ability of the healthcare system to respond to the new threat of the coronavirus infection.

In this case, it wouldn’t be necessary to explain, even at an elementary level, that as distinct from many other countries, and even with a comparable number of infected people, six weeks ago Russia was far ahead of them in almost every critical figure (the number of medical personnel, specially equipped hospital beds, lung ventilators and ECMO machines). We would like to draw the attention of the esteemed journalists from the Financial Times to a comparison of the preparedness of the Russian and British healthcare systems based on the facts.

The above numbers are based on information from the Russian Federation Health Ministry, NHS England, NHS Scotland, NHS Wales, NSC, OECD and other open sources.

The main point is that Russia managed to avoid chaos and disorder and use the precious time we gained from early self-isolation for the further buildup of our medical capacities, the opening of new hospitals, and the purchase and manufacture of the necessary equipment.

Instead of attentively and openly analysing reality, in part, studying the Russian experience, the journalists at some Western publications made an awkward, politically engaged attempt, to shift public attention from domestic troubles to yet another sensational anti-Russia fake news item.

Meanwhile, it might be worth listening to what Director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci said recently. He testified during hearings in the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions that the real figures on the victims of the new coronavirus may be higher than official statistics in the US, not in Russia.

We would like to advise The New York Times and the Financial Times to be more serious about the facts and the verification of their own articles. Maybe, this would help them save their reputation, which has been spoiled by an endless number of unfounded reports in recent years.

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